If you think of growing pains, especially young athletes between ages of 12, 13, 14, in that range, all of a sudden you get a growth spurt.
So you might grow a few inches, and what's actually happening is, pretend my hand here is the quad muscle, the muscle of your thigh, and all of a sudden your bones grow, right?
The muscle and tendons that are attached to it are going to be pulled because of that growth.
And so now that's actually creating more of a pull.
It's kind of like a rubber band.
If I've got a rubber band attached to either side, and all of a sudden the bone grows and stretches, it's going to put that structure on a stretch.
So this being the tendon, so the rubber band has put out a stretch, and at some point it's not going to have much give, because it's stretched out as far as it can go at that moment.
So the muscles end up having to kind of catch up in the growth that the bones did first.
So that's where growing pains come in.
And that's usually where you start to get that tendonitis pain right in here, because of that growth.
So we've got the growth here from the thighbone, just stretching, and all of a sudden creating a pull here on that tendon, and you're going to get pain here.
So imagine having pain here already because of growth, having that tendon already stretched out, and on top of that, adding the impact of running and jumping and doing sports.
It's kind of like having a bruise, and then constantly getting hit on it, and getting it re-injured or aggravated without it healing first.
It's important to also think about the fact that if your son or daughter has pain right here underneath the kneecap and has tendonitis, has some growing pains.
It's very important to not neglect that.
Because what happens is if we just kind of write it off as like, "Oh, it's just tendonitis. It's just growing pains."
Yes, meaning it's not a serious thing, but if we neglect it and just sort of leave it, it can potentially lead to further injury down the road.
I find high school kids that are 17 and 18 that went through this, maybe they had tendonitis or when they were 12 or 13, and now they refer to it as, "Oh, that's my bad knee.", because they never really kind of took care of it.
And so how do you take care of it?
Well, it's important to ice, first of all.
Help reduce that inflammation, using some compression therapy, meaning a compression sleeve to keep on that area really helps, sometimes light massaging in the area that tissue helps sort of soothe that and make sure that scar tissue doesn't develop and rest.
Yesterday, I believe I talked about the importance of rest, maybe yesterday or the day before, I talked about the importance of rest, especially when it comes to injury.
Your nutrition is going to also play a factor as well as your hydration.
But the reason why neglecting to deal with something like tendonitis and just kind of brushing it off as being something minor is the fact that I want you to start thinking of the body as a whole.
So just because you have an athlete who has pain right here underneath their knee cap, doesn't mean that that's the only source and that's where we should focus our attention.
So I want you to start thinking sort of a bigger picture.
So like I mentioned before, right on top here, we have the quad, the thigh muscle, and that's attached to that same tendon that's getting irritated.
So usually what happens is we neglect the pain that's going on here and we're only treating this, and all of a sudden you're going to develop chronic pain, and so now your quad has to compensate for this motion, because the body is going to do that, and this can lead to injury.
So later on you might pull your quad muscle.
You might develop some pain there, maybe even affecting your hamstring, all because you had tendonitis on your knee and you really didn't address it.
So very important to note that usually the source of pain for tendonitis is not necessarily that spot itself, but rather above or below.
So again, think of that concept of the way a muscle attaches to bone is through a tendon.
So at the end of every muscle, you're going to have tendon and that's what attaches to the bone ,or the joint.
And so it's important to not just look at the source of location, sorry, not just look at the location of where you're having tendonitis, in this case here on the knee, underneath the kneecap, but looking above, meaning the quad, or below, maybe the athlete has tight quads, so maybe we need to address that.
Or maybe they have tight hamstrings, maybe the way they walk, maybe they have pain in their feet or calves or shins.
These are all things to sort of consider, and know how we're going to treat this pain.
So how can you treat, how can you prevent tendonitis?
Well you need to be vigilant.
So if you're a sports mom, and your kid is starting to complain about some knee pain, and it just sort of seems like it's a general pain, there wasn't necessarily a certain injury or a fall that caused it, but there's this pain, attack it right away.
Don't wait for it to get worse.
And don't ignore it.
You can ice, so applying some ice directly for 20 minutes will really help at the end of the day, doing a warm Epsom salt bath, like I mentioned, in a previous video, I talked about the great benefits of that for soreness in general, is also great.
And there's other different products.
Again, getting enough rest, making sure that you're taking time off from vigorous training if the pain is constant there, just to help things sort of quiet down and heal, is also a good idea.
And switching up training is a good thing.
And switching up some training and getting some time in the water or pool is really, really beneficial.
So something like 15 to 20 minutes in a hot tub or just going for a swim is really, really going to create a great impact and really help kind of get rid of that pain.
Share this with other sports moms or other coaches or young athletes that you think might find this helpful.